3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
When I chose to review YiaYia’s Kitchen by Brianna Koucos Midgley, I was expecting to read a book on either cooking or cleanliness. While there was a lesson or two about cooking, I was left pleasantly surprised by this book. It includes a very refreshing and eye-opening lesson about life. Without giving away any spoilers, I can say that this life lesson is extremely important for both children and adults alike. Even as adults, there are times when we need reminders to do the right thing. This book acted as an inspiration for me to do just that.
This story is told from the perspective of a young girl, who spends a lot of time in her grandmother’s kitchen. She calls her grandmother “YiaYia”, while her grandmother lovingly calls her “Koukla”(little doll). She likes to cook with her grandmother and has learnt not only about ingredients and recipes, but also about their Greek tradition and heritage. One afternoon, they were making a Greek dish called “spanakopita”, which is similar to a spinach pie. Her grandmother had asked her to add a touch of salt to the dish, and left the room to attend to other work. While Koukla tried to add the salt, the lid of the salt shaker broke and the whole bottle was emptied into the dish that they were preparing. What will Koukla do now? Will she admit that she made a mistake or will they continue cooking a dish with excess salt?
When I read a children’s book, I expect good illustrations and simple vocabulary. This book was perfect on both counts. The illustrations were creative and effectively supported the text of the book. I liked how the illustrations emphasized the characters’ expressions and feelings. In terms of language and vocabulary, the book was easy to read and follow. While I found a few editing errors, specially missing punctuations, they were minor and did not spoil my reading experience.
Apart from these editing errors, I had two other minor issues with this book. Firstly, the book lacked a proper introduction. While I do not expect an elaborate introductory section in a children’s book, I would have liked an index and a small note from the author. Secondly, the book did not have page numbers or margins. As a result, the pages with no illustrations (only text against a white background) seemed odd.
Overall, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. While I loved the characters and the book’s message, the editing and formatting of the book can be improved. I recommend this book to both children and adults who need a little inspiration. It is a relatively short book, so pick it up when you need a small break!
View: on Bookshelves